Deutsche Fassung

I think, I was not the only Berliner, who always wondered about this thing. What could it be? Is it a ruin of those legendary discos they had before the war. Was it a Tanzpalast? If you ask todays disco visitors, they have no idea about this building, even when they live next to it. Of course it doesn't look like a disco, if you stand in front of it.

The dome reminds me a bit of the cupola they popped on the Reichstag building. If they took this one, they would have saved a lot of money.

My building with the cupola is a bit hidden between other buildings. Take the U-Bahn 7 and leave at Suedstern. Ask someone for the Koertestreet and walk the right side of it. It leads you to a sports field at the right. Don't pass it, enter. Suddenly you face the building. I you want to see the other side of the building, leave the sports. Walk on, keep right. Don't leave or cross the Koertestreet. You'll make a bow and enter the Fichtestreet. Go on, walk. Suddenly your are on the other side of the building. A Berliner would say, you run round the half biscuit. That's one of our expressions for a block.

Now what about that building? I had to ask a kind elder Lady. So keep your eyes open for them. It's not easy, because there are many younger Ladies, flattering from Fichte- to Koertestreet.

"That was a gasholder!" - Such mean prosaic reality nearly hit me to the floor! She told me more. In '45 there was no more gas as there was no Germany. First it was occupied by people which lost their home by allied bombs. It also was the residence of bums and others. Later is was used as storage for emergency supply. It was filled with milk, eggs, butter and such things. I suppose the fowls which gaggle at the northside of the building descend from this supply.

Since I took the photos I read that the holder was altered to a shelter by the nazis during war. They casted additional concrete walls inside. Now it is impossible to blast or demolish the building without damaging the neighbors houses.

Maybe this company which sells propane in cylinders is still there. They use a part of the area. Perhaps they found propane somewhere in the cellars. Who knows the real number of subterranean stories? It may come out in Australia.

It is mysterious! There are many gas lanterns around that building. They are on at night. There still must be a big quantum of gas. They rip the streets again and again. Somebody is looking for something. They want to find the source of all that gas. Is there natural gas in the middle of Berlin?

© Fotos, Words and Design by Zacke. May 2002/July 2004.